UK and SA space agencies to increase collaboration

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Source: UK Space Agency

The UK Space Agency and the South African Space Agency (SANSA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that will see them increase collaboration and review areas of common interest in their space programmes.

The MoU was signed on 16 July by Sir Mark Walport, the UK Government Chief Scientific Adviser, on behalf of the UK Space Agency, and Dr Sandile Malinga, CEO of the South African Space Agency.

Sir Mark Walport said: “I am delighted to sign this MoU on behalf of the UK Space Agency, which reflects the growing strength in collaboration in cutting edge science between our two countries. South Africa, and in particular SANSA, are key partners for the UK, with a range of new activities linking the UK and South African space industry partners under the UK’s International Partnership Space Programme.”

The MoU will see the 2 agencies stepping up the interchange of information, technology and personnel. It covers a range of areas where both agencies would benefit from collaboration, including research opportunities around space weather, information sharing in the use of space for applications related to climate change, and satellite data sharing. Other MoU actions include identifying opportunities for SANSA to collaborate with local and UK-based commercial space industry and the UK sharing infrastructure and systems knowledge.

Increased collaboration between the 2 agencies will also help foster more space projects, like SBAS Africa, that have the potential to deliver huge social benefits. SBAS Africa, a UK-South African collaboration, funded through the UK Space Agency’s International Partnerships Space Programme, will help to improve aviation safety by setting up and demonstrating new satellite-based flight systems.

Dr Malinga said: “SANSA is currently collaborating with UKSA in space applications addressing climate change, the development of space weather models and planning infrastructure developments for space.”

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